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canoeing, kayaking and other adventures

canoeing and kayaking adventures born in the Southeastern U.S. and now centered in Scotland...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Arrecife Pirates to Playa Honda - Day 5 - 7/11/2008

Brian and I returned to Playa del Reducto in Arrecife for our second sea kayak trip, this time without a guide. We collected our boats from Lanza Canoa and pet their dog before heading out. The wind was pretty much the same as the previous day, though it felt warmer to me.

We repeated the pirate journey from the day before. Even with the wind, it took 45 minutes to get to the wind-blocking harbour. We skipped the coffee break this time and returned to Playa del Reducto in short order. Instead of landing, we continued along the shoreline roughly southwest toward Playa Honda. It was farther than I expected. It was also more exposed, which meant more swells, current and wind than we had the previous day.

The current and the wind were on our side and the swell was reasonably predictable. We paddled along the shoreline, veering out to sea a little with each visible pile of rocks to avoid the waves that formed naturally. I hit most of the swells at a 45 degree angle but occasionally they snuck up on me. I saw Brian get thrown around a bit with one set of swells and I chose to face in the same direction to avoid similar tossing. One of them surfed me a little and then I was able to ferry across the trough before the next wave came in. I was excited that a river move worked on the sea.

We saw a few cafes along the beach and had a little more than an hour before our pickup, so we decided to stop for a snack. After tapas (without the bread for me) and drinks, we had just under half an hour to get to the next beach. Then Brian realised we would have to launch into the current and swell that had been so helpful depositing us on the beach. It wasn't as hard as he expected. Sit on top kayaks are useful for not requiring much faff to get started. I waded out, waited for a wave to go out, hopped gracelessly onto my boat and paddled out. Brian didn't wade out as far, got washed in briefly but quickly managed to get going anyway.

While approaching Playa Honda, we competed for space with two kite surfers and a pile of rocks that tried to hide. I think I annoyed the kite surfer by shifting direction to avoid the rocks, but he coped well enough. He later zoomed between Brian and me when he easily could have gone elsewhere. The second kite surfer got started soon after and the two of them zoomed away together.

As we approached the beach, one of the women from Lanza Canoa waved from the car park. She helped us drag the boats up to the trailer. We cleaned up quickly, washing the sand away that we could reach. Their dog was happy to lick the salt off our hands. They gave us a ride back to our hotel at Matagorda.

Semi-convinced by the warmth of the air, I agreed to join Brian for some swimming and snorkeling. He brought his mask and snorkel. He threw himself in pretty quickly. I did the weenie wade out, whimpering about the cold as I went. Brian let me try his mask and snorkel and I threw myself the rest of the way in. I played with my underwater camera, chasing fish as the mask slowly leaked around me. We took a break and I bought my own mask and snorkel. The mask was one meant for children so it fit!

We snorkeled for about 15 or 20 more minutes during which my poor camera decided it had had enough of the salt water. I got an error message telling me to clean the card. In reality, the error message meant the card and receptacle were corroded. A new card got me a few more photos before the camera died completely. Thankfully, both cards read perfectly on a card reader at home, but I did wonder for the next few days if all of my photos would be lost.

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